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Monday, November 16, 2009

Me Speak Corporate Good

I was making myself a sandwich while holding my almost 2 year old son, Berserker (no that's not his real name but yes that's what I actually wanted to name him after the rock band in the movie Clerks) in one arm and spreading mayonnaise on a sandwich with the other. Berserker started reaching for the mayo and indicating that he wanted to eat it straight from the jar.

"No Berserker," I said, "we don't eat mayonnaise." My wife looked up. Since Berserker has reached an age where he pretty much understands everything that we say, she has been trying to get me to be better about explaining things to him directly and not say things that aren't correct. For example, when Berserker tries to climb on the table so he can pound on the computer keys, I'll often say, "No Berserker, there's nothing interesting on the table." That is incorrect since there is something very interesting on the table, the computer, which is why he was trying to climb on the table.

"Deadhedge," my wife said, "We do eat mayonnaise and Berserker knows that we eat mayonnaise so he probably doesn't believe you. What you should have just said is, 'Berserker we don't eat mayonaise directly out of the jar but we can give you some mayonnaise on a sandwich." She paused, her expression slightly changed and a grin emerged as she thought of something else.

"Deadhedge, when you talk to Berserker, why don't you talk to him like you would talk to your coworkers at a business meeting? At a business meeting, you are direct and think about the best way to describe something before speaking. You could use this an an opportunity to improve your presentation skills." Ah, that was an ingenious way to get me stop being lazy while talking with Berserker and relying on easy phrases like, "That's not interesting", or "We don't do that," or "The cat ran away from home."

However, I thought about how I talk at meetings at work and realized this wouldn't work.

"Wifey," I said, "If I talked to Berserker like I talked with my work colleagues, I would say things like:"

"Berserker, let's put eating mayonnaise from the jar in the Parking Lot."
"Berserker, we haven't prioritized eating mayonnaise from the jar on this year's strategic plan."
"Berserker, we haven't built a business case for eating mayonnaise from the jar."

With this type of corporate communication style, it's pretty incredible that we actually accomplish anything at all at our meetings.

1 comment:

Kathi Browne said...

Love this post! My husband gets upset when he "delegates" home responsibilities and the kids don't follow through. It's a whole different world with kids.

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